Guide through the adventure - enhance the experiences

When was the last time you experienced something extraordinary in golf? What things influenced it? What are the things that make or break your experience? How high do you set your expectations? Why sometimes your expectations are higher or lower? At what point do you feel like your expectations are met? The tricky jungle of customer experience is all about the expectations set upon and how they are met. Here are our thoughts about the abstract matter of customer experience.

Memorable experiences

The last time I experienced something truly extraordinary in golf was when I visited Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Belek, Turkey, last fall. It was perhaps one of the first times I hadn’t had time to get to know the new course beforehand. I was excited about the untraditional lighted round during the night, which for me was a first. What made the experience special, however, was the whole. Everything was carefully thought out down to the smallest detail. Whether it was the decorations of the club area, the helpfulness of the staff, the picturesque and interesting layout and the playability of the course – it was all designed from the customer’s point of view. The service and the whole course made me feel like I was a well-known and famous player myself. Unfortunately, my game didn’t generate the same feeling.

For me, the experience was all about exceeding my expectations. Of course, this experience was also influenced by the fact that I experienced something completely new during the round. But the thing is that the venue doesn’t have to be a high-class luxury course to do this. Well thought small details, good customer service and a service journey designed from the customer perspective will do the same.

"What made it special was the whole."

Mantra for competitive advantage

Customer orientation has been one of the mantras of organizational development throughout the 21st century. In the past, companies competed on the quality of products and services, but in recent years, the importance of the customer experience has grown to be perhaps the most important factor – and rightly so. The evolution of customer experience forces companies to think about their operations from the customer’s shoes. However, customer orientation does not mean that the customer is always offered everything he or she wants. It means offering the best possible experience and solution to the customer and taking into account business and competitive realities.

However, if customer satisfaction surveys conducted twice a year are forgotten, many organizations (golf clubs included) have struggled simply on how customer orientation and better customer experiences should be put into practice. Customer orientation has remained too abstract in many organizations. In reality, it has not ultimately changed goals, priorities, metrics, or strategic choices. At its best, the customer experience becomes a way of strategically managing the entire organization and increasing the value of your brand. At worst, it remains an insignificant jargon in the strategy films presented by the board.

Touchpoints everywhere

In the golf industry, the importance of the customer experience is growing considerably and its basic principles come to life in a real sense. Golf is a complex experience and while many players come to the course just because they get to play golf, they stay in and engage with the golf community because of the vibes and atmosphere, social community and relationships, and excellent customer experiences. The better customer experience you create for your customers, the more they will recommend your products and services to others. And we all know how important recommendations are in golf and in general.

The customer’s experience begins with his or her first contact with a company, which can be, for example, an Instagram ad or a company milieu. From these very first points of contact, customers create the first images and opinions that influence their customer experience. The customer experience is created at different touchpoints – places or situations – where the organization and customers meet. However, customer personalities are all different and other people may have a memory of different factors. For example, a partner in a golf club who wants to spend time and money on their favorite hobby will probably highlight different factors than a guest player who is on the course for the first time. The company must find out what different segments value and expect from the service.

Some might say that the customer experience is created in the details. Whether it’s an attractive brand, a clear and user-friendly website, a charming Instagram account, an appealing on-course branding, or personalized service from a customer service representative – they all matter when creating the customer experience. Of course, some touchpoints are relevant to the customer experience that the company cannot influence. For example, the playing mates of a golf round. However, paying attention to alterable details and small concrete ways to delight customers (such as remembering little details about the customer like his/hers anniversaries, giving random genuine compliments, making the customer laugh, or a handwritten thank-you message) make a difference.

"Some might say that the customer experience is created in the details."

Emotions as a driver of loyalty

Recently, the importance of emotions has risen at the center of customer experience development. A customer who is committed on an emotional level is 52% more profitable than ‘’just’’ satisfied. Such customers also tolerate more errors from services. That’s why leading organizations seek to create loyalty through propositions that are more holistic and rooted in experiences. Companies try to engage customers – both rationally and emotionally – since emotions are the main driver of loyalty. Companies that have invested in the emotional experience of customers (and staff!) have proven to outperform their competitors. Other recent trends in the customer experience have been the emphasis on responsibility, proactivity, and the courage to stand out from the competition – copying your neighbor is not enough anymore.

To summarize, customer experience is the sum of many factors and touchpoints, which are also significantly influenced by the customer’s background, values, and expectations. In common services, the level of expectation has often settled to a certain level based on experience. Everyday experiences have brought us a certain level of expectation and hence customer satisfaction often remains neutral. To improve the customer experience, it is worth considering whether there could be a concept allowing companies to break everyday routines and create more small surprising moments and memories for customers.

Golfing under a tree

Not just a transient management trend

Well, what should golf companies do to make customer experiences strategic cornerstones, and not just a transient management trend? Organizations should clarify their strategies on what kind of customer experiences they want to create. In other words, companies should break down elements of the customer experience into smaller parts. The company’s strategic choices about creating customer value, the means of competition used, and the company’s value proposition, determine what kind of customer experience the company intends to succeed with. Therefore, the strategically defined customer experience should be further implemented at each level of the organization and each customer touchpoint. For competitors, it is very challenging to copy someone else’s overall customer experience. Thus,  customer experience can become a more sustainable competitive advantage than the service itself. Companies that have heavily invested in customer experience and systematically led the customer experience have successfully differentiated themselves from the competitors and proven to be more successful. There are many benefits to managing the customer experience, such as:

  • Strengthening your customer engagement;
  • Increasing your referrals;
  • Improving your cross-selling and resale opportunities;
  • Extending your customer lifecycle;
  • Increasing your customer loyalty
    Adding value to your company’s brand;
  • Engaging your staff;
  • Reducing your negative customer feedback; 
  • Maximizing value for your customer, which in turn increases the returns of your entire company.

Companies that are not customer-oriented and do not manage their customer experiences create occasional feelings for their customers and experiences that vary by time, place, and especially a person. The derived customer experience is a planned entity, independent of both time and place, yet distinctive. Well-managed customer experience aims to generate more value for the customer and the whole company.

Perhaps we could help you create consistent, unique, and memorable customer experiences? Give us a call or drop us a message and let’s talk more!


Taija Viklund

Business Developer / Strategist / Partner

Let's talk more!

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